Blog posts tagged in parental responsibilities
If you are involved in a parenting time dispute and are the parent of a breastfeeding child, you may have questions about how a breastfeeding relationship may impact a custody arrangement in Illinois. Our family law attorneys in Wheaton understand that breastfeeding is both a sensitive topic and an important part of many young children's development.
The Tender Years Argument
In the past, many jurisdictions have subscribed to the view that very young children who are still in their "tender years" - generally considered to be children age three and younger - should primarily be cared for by their mother.
In Illinois, the court will often take into account the wishes of the child or children who are the subject of a parenting time dispute. While a child's input can be incredibly valuable in terms of determining the child's best interest - as is the court's ultimate goal - it is not necessarily appropriate under all circumstances.
If you are involved in a parenting time dispute and worry about how your child's feelings and wishes will be respected, our compassionate family law attorneys in Wheaton can be by your side throughout the process.
Illinois Considers Child Input as One Factor in Parenting Time Disputes
Paternity is defined as the legal relationship between a father and his children, and the rights and responsibilities that come along with that relationship. Fathers who are or were married to the mother of their child do not typically need to establish paternity, since the legal presumption is that a mother's husband or ex-husband (within a biologically appropriate time-frame) is the father.
Unmarried fathers, however, must proactively establish their paternity - or the mother may seek to do so. Unless both parents agree on who is the child's father and are willing to submit a signed acknowledgment, it is likely you will need to establish paternity in court. If you are a parent seeking to have the paternity of your child established for legal reasons, an experienced paternity lawyer in Illinois can help. Our firm's paternity attorneys have experience representing both mothers and fathers in paternity cases.
Rights and Responsibilities of Legal Fatherhood
As a divorced or single parent, you understand how challenging it can be to provide all the things your child needs to thrive. In an ideal situation, your child’s other parent would also be committed to helping, both financially and as an active participant in the child’s life. But what happens when you want to pursue opportunities that would force you to relocate to a new city or state with your child? Do you have the right to simply pick up and move? As with most issues of family law and coparenting, the answer depends on the circumstances of your particular situation.
For many years, the laws in Illinois were fairly subjective about moving with your child. While there was no specific prohibition or distance limitations for an in-state move, if the move presented major obstacles to an existing custody or visitation order, it could potentially be challenged in court. An out-of-state move with a child subject to a custody or visitation order statutorily required the other parent’s consent or an overriding court order.
Under Illinois law, a judge can order that a child custody evaluation or custody study be done to help the court decide difficult issues of parenting time and residence of the children of the marriage. The judge typically appoints an evaluator after consulting with the lawyers for both sides. Once an evaluator is chosen, both sides are ordered to cooperate. Cooperation includes paying the evaluator’s fee.
Who Pays for the Custody Study?
The circumstances of every case are different. Judges have a lot of latitude in deciding who should pay for a custody study. While usually both sides have to contribute something, it is not required that both sides contribute equally. Often judges will order one side with more access to cash to pay most of the fee. However, the payment of the fee can also be considered when the marital property is divided.